A progressive implementation plan for Orillia’s waterfront development concept at 70 Front St. N. was approved by Council on Thursday, Aug 16.
“Council and staff have worked diligently to ensure that the vision for this strategic piece of land is both progressive yet consistent with the character that makes Orillia unique,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “The approval of this implementation plan will allow staff to begin the request for proposal process, which is an important first step towards private development of the site.”
The implementation plan is the result of many months of extensive research, due diligence, and legal work to determine the best way to move forward Council’s preferred waterfront development concept for 70 Front St. N., which was supported in principle in December 2017.
Council directed staff to prepare the site for development by initiating the planning approval process. Concurrently, the City will prepare a request for proposal that opens the door for developers to submit proposals consistent with Council’s vision. It is anticipated that a call for proposals will take place in the first quarter of 2019, which will be followed by the selection of a preferred purchaser/developer.
“The Waterfront Working Group and Council have laid out the framework for developers to submit a proposal for 70 Front St. N. that will be a good fit for residents and businesses in the downtown waterfront area, while at the same time inspiring others to further improve the downtown core,” said Coun. Tim Lauer, Chair of the Waterfront Working Group.
“The Economic Development Department is receiving significant interest in this property because of its strategic location between the downtown and waterfront,” said Laura Thompson, Manager of Real Estate and Commercial Development. “We anticipate that the development of these lands will be a catalyst for development on surrounding lands in the waterfront area.”
The waterfront development concept for 70 Front St. N. and surrounding municipally-owned lands contemplates an increase in the number of people living and working in the downtown core and includes a mix of residential and commercial uses between Front Street, Mississaga Street East and Centennial Drive.
The concept took into consideration a number of studies of the downtown and waterfront area that included extensive public consultation including the Port of Orillia Area Public Realm Plan, the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan and the Downtown Tomorrow Plan. In accordance with this plan, the City purchased 70 Front St. N. (Metro Plaza) in 2016 to facilitate the extension of Coldwater St. to Centennial Dr.
For more information on the waterfront development project, visit orillia.ca/waterfront.
Photo Credit: Orillia.ca